Les is a tricky man to sum up. 'Motivation and hair, both in abundance!' is what it says on LinkedIn, which is a pretty good short version. The longer one would probably mention more than 20 years of experience in publishing, marketing, sales, property investment and a host of other entrepreneurial activity. Blessed with a unique ability to cut to the chase, and a straightforward approach that gets things done; Les also lives inside strategy and figures the way a fish lives in the sea.
Much to the envy of his colleagues, Les divides his time between Harrogate and Chamonix. When he's not devoting his abundant energy to business matters, he can usually be found snowboarding, mountain biking, racing Ferraris or headbanging along to a disturbing selection of dubious glam metal throwbacks.
Gaye WrightOperations Director
Gaye is the walking definition of the term 'Lynchpin' – or as Google put it when we checked, A central cohesive source of support and stability. Her primary functions are finance, production, people, admin and – well, Operations; but there's pretty much nothing going on here that she's not involved in in one way or another. She also has the unenviable task of keeping a handle on the force of nature that is our Chairman Les.
Gaye's a rock-solid pair of hands whose capability and professionalism are matched only by her unbridled sense of humour, which is essential if anyone expects to stay sane doing her job.
Alex GrayCommercial Director
Alex is always on the lookout for new opportunities and exploring new growth strategies – both in terms of our own business and of course for the clients we work with. Alex joined us as a salesperson, but it soon became clear that he had a broad commercial perspective and business acumen that could be put to better use. He is relishing his role as commercial director: getting out into the market, finding new opportunities and building new client relationships – in short, driving the future growth of the company. Alex's background is in IT infrastructure for the financial sector, but he likes nothing more than new ideas, so if you have a proposition of any kind to discuss why not give him a call?
A big sports fan, Alex's loyalties lie in Leicester, on the rugby field (good) and equally on the football field (not so good). He's also an avid private investor with interests in metals, mining and property.
Paul BunceSales Manager
As sales manager, it's Paul's job to oversee the sales team, monitoring, motivating, setting targets, shooting trouble and generally providing the oxygen that keeps the heart of the company beating. His experience of sales and events, coupled with his energy and commitment to the cause, makes him the ideal candidate for the post, and the results he achieves speak for themselves.
One of several southern emigrés working at Barker Brooks, Paul brought with him a lifelong passion for Arsenal FC (much to our puzzlement).
Marek has been the editor of Claims Magazine and Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer since July 2012. Before moving to Barker Brooks, he worked in London as a pensions journalist and editor for several years on a number of prestigious titles; he has also written for numerous other pensions and investment titles as a freelancer. Marek sat on the judging panel for the 2014 and 2015 headlinemoney.co.uk awards, which recognise excellence in financial services journalism.
Outside work Marek is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, which will presumably come in handy as he rears his children.
Helen has been with us for a long, long time and has done a lot of different things over the years – that's a testament to her versatility and many capabilities. As office manager (and former primary school prefect) she ruled us all with a rod of iron, a skill that transferred neatly when she added a role in credit control to her other duties. In the end though, after helping out at various functions we were managing, Helen realised that the glitter and glamour of our Events department was the place for her, and she's been helping Laura keep things running smoothly ever since.
Helen has read many of the best books that have ever been written, cooks like an angel, and wishes that Australia was at least 10,000 miles less far away.
Matt GottingAccount Manager, Legal
Matt learnt his first lessons about sales and customer service while he was working for another events company here in Harrogate. His key accounts included MTV, the Brit Awards and the Glastonbury Festival, but he was happy to turn his back on the world of musical clients to come and work on our medical portfolio. Since joining, Matt's professionalism and work ethic have quickly landed him with more responsibility than he might have been expecting at this stage of his career.
When he's not managing clients at work Matt keeps in touch with his love of music by playing guitar and listening to some really questionable bands. He's a Liverpool fan, for his sins.
Kate DanceMedical Editor
Honorary Yorkshire lass Kate moved Up North from Portsmouth to study at Leeds University – and in the blink of an eye, since graduating, she has clocked up more than 10 years’ experience working in the publishing industry, from small beginnings producing TV listings and drawing weather maps for newspapers to subbing for regional newspapers in York, Hull, Lincoln, Scunthorpe and Grimsby. Kate works across all of our medical titles.
When she’s not mopping up spilled milk or running after an energetic toddler, Kate can be found taking it all out on the badminton court, where she's a demon competitor in the York and Yorkshire leagues.
Victoria JohnsonNon-executive Director
Although Victoria has now left Barker Brooks for pastures new, she remains in close contact as a shareholder and sits on the board of directors. A highly experienced publishing and events salesperson with particular experience of the financial and high net worth worlds, Victoria embodies the focus on quality and professionalism which we bring to all our work.
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